In her award presentation speech, the Ambassador said in 2007 the Secretary of State; Ms. Condelesca Rice initiated the Women of Courage Award to honour women who had performed outstanding service for the community, often in the face of great difficulties.
“The Women of Courage Award honours women who have risked their lives to exemplify exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for human rights, women’s equality, and social progress.
“We have honoured women who stood up for justice, human rights, constitutional reform, and the rule of law, disregarding any personal or professional risk,” she added.
She said by honouring, Ms Garo, it is the same as honouring all women who have struggled, survived and succeeded; those who have faced unbelievable hardships and discrimination.
Her Excellency, Catherine Ebert Gray said Emma’s story of bravery and courage is worth celebrating.
“She has been a staunch advocate for not only the protection of women and children but also for upholding ethics in the legal profession,” she said.
She said Emma has helped multiple women facing abuse with protection, shelter, guidance, and safe passage.
The Ambassador said as Chief Magistrate of the Solomon Islands main court and as a first female to hold the post, Emma, has also arranged to have judges go out to the provinces to hear legal cases and making major reforms at the court.
“Her courage deserves to be recognised, to inspire more women, ordinary working women like all of you to stand up and say ENOUGH. NO MORE VIILENCE!” she said.
She said Emma’s story might similar to many other women out there in the world but sadly too often most of these stories are untold.
By IAN KAUKUI